My First Matilda Jane Trunk Show [Hello Lovely]

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When it comes to style, I’m a Jackie O meets Audrey Hepburn meets the contents of a J.Crew catalog kind of girl. I love classic lines and simple colors with the sparsest of jewelry. I’m the perfect candidate for the capsule wardrobe. The truth is, when it comes to fashion, I am everything that Matilda Jane is not. So I find it a little ironic that this week I helped a friend with a party that was centered around this whimsical, bright, pattern mixing, ruffle covered clothing line. Me, the one who wears the same black and gold dress to church every week. (I really need to stop doing that, people are starting to notice)

Woodfield Creative_0890   I like to think I’m always open to learning new things, so I happily agreed to help out with the party. I also adore the woman throwing it, so I gladly sat alongside Coree with a pair of scissors in one hand and a glue gun in the other, making paper decor for the big day. I even hand painted a sign with the name of this season’s clothing release… a pretty and simple “Hello Lovely”. Ain’t it sweet looking? Woodfield Creative_0891 Woodfield Creative_0892
On the day, dark clouds filled the sky and threatened rain, but we soldiered on with getting ready and the party started at four without a hitch. (Except for the one giant balloon that I accidentally let fly away. Sorry to whoever that lands on) The event was half trunk show, half fashion show and a whole lot of cookies. While mom’s browsed and preordered this season’s clothing line, their daughters waited in the back of the house for the fashion show to start. One of the highlights of this event, was the presence of the founder of Matilda Jane (Denise DeMarchis) and two of her designers/friends. I was hanging out with them as we were getting ready and they were so giddy over the little girls wearing their designs… pointing out which designs had been their favorites and reminiscing together. Their attention to detail and the knowledge of their designs took me aback, to be completely honest, and really impressed me.

The passion these woman had for their work was amazing…and it reminded me of the way I talk with my photographer friends. Let me ask you a question… do you want to feel exhilarated at work? Try designing something and see it bought to life and appreciated by someone else. It’s such a unique experience. Creating for others is intoxicating, and seeing that same spark in the MJ designers made me appreciate their work in a way I could never have before. It was as if their passion made me overlook the mixed patterns and see MJ clothing for what it is – pieces of someone’s heart made into clothing. I may never buy or wear Matilda Jane, but I have learned to love the story and the heart behind the company.Woodfield Creative_0894 Woodfield Creative_0895 Woodfield Creative_0896 Woodfield Creative_0897 During the party, I was running around doing other things for Coree and making sure everyone was comfortable… but I did keep my camera slung over my shoulder and took a few snaps of the day – nothing much, but I couldn’t leave the camera at home! After the majority of guests had arrived, we all gathered outside to watch the sweet little girls walk their favorite outfits past their watching mommies and the very women who designed the outfits themselves. The shuffling feet and shy smiles didn’t carry quite the same feel as fashion week, but it was unbelievably endearing. I bet Naomi, Cindy and Claudia never got as many ooooh’s and ahhhh’s as these girls did!  Woodfield Creative_0898 Woodfield Creative_0899 Woodfield Creative_0900 Woodfield Creative_0901 Woodfield Creative_0902 Woodfield Creative_0903 Woodfield Creative_0904

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Besides getting to work alongside Coree again (one of my favorite things), meeting Denise, Kayla and Sam was definitely my favorite part of  the day. Sitting and talking with them inspired me to keep pursuing the need to create for others and reminded me to keep a strict attention to detail. At the end of the day, these women are a tribute to the power of a good story and distance hard work and perseverance will take you. I’m so thankful that Coree pulled this event together and asked me to help her… doesn’t inspiration come from the strangest places at times? (And isn’t Sam the cutest thing? She’s the second from the left.)Woodfield Creative_0910

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Alie and Brandon [Los Angeles Wedding Photography]

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I remember the first time I heard about Brandon. I was home in Central California for the summer, and my best friend Alie called for one of our long catch up sessions. We’d only been talking ten minutes when she started talking about this co-worker of hers with a motorcycle and a bad habit of showing up wherever she was. His name was Brandon and the day before, she had finally agreed to let him take her on a ride on said motorcycle. In fact, as we were talking, she was waiting for him to pick her up. Over the next few years, I would hear about this poor fellow a lot, and as their relationship progressed I came to truly respect and admire him. You would not believe the patience and determination this man has… and my friend deserves nothing less than a man who loves her as completely as Brandon does.

Alie is the most generous person I have ever had the honor to call friend. I have never left her house empty handed – even if she’s had to force me to accept her gifts. (This last weekend she made me take home a bottle of peppermint hand soap that I mentioned I liked. Seriously, forced.) What I love most about her, though, is her incredible mind and drive. Our conversations have a rhythm that leave me wanting to know and do more as her very presence encourages those around her to do better. I wish everyone could know her the way I do…but since you can’t, let me show you just how beautiful she is instead. 🙂

AlieBrandon (1) AlieBrandon (2) Alie and Brandon met while working Emergency Medical Services at UCLA. Brandon liked this blonde girl so much that he’d swap his shifts with coworkers to work the same times as her. Alie would offhandedly comment on the way she seemed to work with him more than anyone else, completely oblivious to the wheeling and dealing going on behind the scenes. When we were talking about places to shoot engagement photos, the idea of photographing them with their ambulance came up. How could I possibly say no to that? AlieBrandon (3) AlieBrandon (4) AlieBrandon (5) AlieBrandon (6) AlieBrandon (7) AlieBrandon (8)    After the ambulance left, we used the library and the rest of Royce court to get more photos. AlieBrandon (9) AlieBrandon (10) AlieBrandon (11) AlieBrandon (12) AlieBrandon (13) AlieBrandon (14) AlieBrandon (15) AlieBrandon (16) AlieBrandon (17)

Finally, we drove over to the Santa Monica Pier (they spent a lot of time in Santa Monica while they were dating) to create some romantic images under the wood pilings at sunset. It was cloudy as we parked, and I was a little concerned that we wouldn’t see the sun’s rays, but I couldn’t have planned the weather any better myself! A heavy fog started rolling in as I started shooting, creating the most romantic golden mist around the couple. Hellooooo gorgeous lighting!AlieBrandon (18) AlieBrandon (19) AlieBrandon (20) AlieBrandon (21) AlieBrandon (22) AlieBrandon (23) AlieBrandon (24) AlieBrandon (25) AlieBrandon (26) AlieBrandon (27) AlieBrandon (28)

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The Saini’s Indian Wedding | San Jose Wedding

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Two days after Christmas, I trekked across the central valley with Holly of Delona Photography to assist her with her second Indian wedding.  Holly is a super talented photographer (seriously, go check out her stuff) and a fantastic friend and I jump at every opportunity to create images alongside her. Now, I generally don’t post photos from weddings that I’m only assisting with… but I had to make an exception with this one. It was the first time I’ve ever photographed an Indian wedding and I just had to share! (I’m sorry in advance if I don’t get everything right in this post or mislabeled something… it is merely my observations as a wedding photographer.)

The the first thing I learned, was that formal Indian weddings are run on a lunar calendar. That doesn’t really mean much to me, except that it required everyone to start getting ready at 4 a.m. I arrived to photograph the groom at 5 that morning, and the house was already bustling with preparations. Saini Wedding_0500

After the usual dressing and getting ready for the day, guests started arriving at the groom’s home to give gifts and blessings and be a part of the Hindu traditions. Having a photograph taken is seen as a sign of respect, so everyone wanted to have their photo taken with the groom.Saini Wedding_0501 Saini Wedding_0502 Saini Wedding_0503 Saini Wedding_0504 Saini Wedding_0505 The grooms family then formed a procession called a Baraat, and we drove together to the ceremony location. Before entering the ceremony hall, the grooms family joined together in a group and met the bride’s family at the door of the building. There, they greeted each other and the parents exchanged well wishes and gifts – followed by breakfast for everyone in the hall. Saini Wedding_0506 At 8 a.m., after breakfast, the marriage ceremony began. The bride looked radiant in her gown that was bought directly from India. The groom couldn’t take his eyes off of her during the whole ceremony… which consisted of many chants, blessings, rituals and a firepit. There were a couple moments I was scared the fire would actually set off the hall’s smoke detectors. (but obviously all went off without a hitch) As someone who loves my family very much, I was impressed with how involved both sets of parents were in the ceremony. Saini Wedding_0507 There was another meal after the ceremony, and Holly and I took that break to sneak the bride and groom outside and photograph them together for a few minutes. The details on their clothing were amazing – but not as enchanting as the bond that the bride and groom had with each other. They were so in love you couldn’t stop watching them together. Too stinking cute! Saini Wedding_0508 Saini Wedding_0509 Saini Wedding_0510 Saini Wedding_0511 Saini Wedding_0512 We had a five hour break between the ceremony and reception. When we all joined back together at the hall, the guests were ready to party! (And eat some more) This was a wedding reception I will not easily forget! The reception venue was lavishly decorated, but it couldn’t compare with the brightly dressed, energetic and joyful guests. This was a PARTY!! There was entertainment, speeches, and piles of food. When the dance floor was finally opened, it was filled with the most spirited crowd of guests I can remember seeing. They danced and danced and danced. There was no mistaking that this reception was a joyful gathering. Saini Wedding_0513 Saini Wedding_0514 Saini Wedding_0515 Saini Wedding_0516 Saini Wedding_0517 Saini Wedding_0518Saini Wedding_0520

I am so thankful to Holly for asking me to assist her with this wedding. It was the kind of experience I’m not going to forget, and I know it’s changed my view on how joyful a wedding should be! Finally, I can’t end this blog post without giving a shout out to Lightbulb Videography who shot video alongside us. Sonny and Tim were such a great mix of joy and professionalism – their excitement for the wedding day was contagious and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for wedding or commercial videographers.Saini Wedding_0519

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